Mix n Match – Szczesny in as Arsenal beat Man Utd 8-3
Not since Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ of 2004 would there have arguably been a time when the Gunners’ would outnumber Manchester United in a starting 11 if their squads were merged.
However, this is certainly the case now and there are clear arguments as to why 9-10 Arsenal players could make a current combined 11, especially if decisions were made solely on current form, over potential or top-form ability.
We have not gone as anti-Man Utd as this, but have still only managed to squeeze three Red Devils into our team, which does intimate that Arsenal’s odds of 11/5 should be taken to win at Old Trafford for the first time since 2006.
Wojciech Szczesny may be a controversial selection in goal over David De Gea, but few could argue that the Pole is much more of an assured presence than last season.
From the same number of starts, he trumps De Gea in the current campaign in terms of clean sheets, average saves made between goals conceded and per game, alongside his claim success from balls into the box.
Arsenal also take three of the spots in the back four, with Patrice Evra the sole Man Utd inclusion.
Borussia Dortmund appeared to target Kieran Gibbs as the weak link in the Gunners’ rearguard line in the Champions League and not only is Evra the better defender to be playing at left-back, he has created far more chances of the duo this season and more than all of his Man Utd teammates.
Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have developed a great understanding at the heart of the Arsenal defence, with the Frenchman defending on the front foot and Mertescaker positioning himself perfectly to cover.
Given Man Utd don’t really have a stable right-back at present, Bacary Sagna has to start in this position.
Aaron Ramsey is a shoo-in selection in midfield as he must be the player of the season in the whole Premier League thus far, while eight wins in nine starts shows the value that Mathieu Flamini has alongside him.
The four attacking positions are shared two apiece. Mesut Ozil has created more chances than any other Arsenal player despite missing the first three games of the campaign, while his partnership with Santi Cazorla is already showing signs of flourishing.
Wayne Rooney has been a regular source of goals this season for David Moyes and can interchange with the Arsenal duo, behind Robin van Persie leading the line.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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